Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Are Evangelicals Truly Conservatives? Part 3

Hart points to the “landmark history of modern American conservatism," George H. Nash’s The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945; Hart notices that in the index of Nash’s work isn't any mention of “any evangelical in the post-World War II movement that launched Fuller Seminary, Christianity Today, or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association" (From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin, pp. 9-10). Even in the second edition of the book published in 1996, Nash devotes three pages to evangelical Protestants as part of the Reagan coalition and “conceded that they shared worries with political conservatives about the health of the United States.” But Nash also writes that:

… evangelical support for Reagan was a “revolt by the ‘masses’ against the secular virus and its aggressive carriers in the nation’s elites.” Nash saw that, unlike conservatives, evangelicals were oblivious to the structural problems of mass society that went deeper than abortion, gay marriage, or pornography. Although he did not say so explicitly, Nash intuited that evangelicalism was a form of Christianity essentially uncritical to modernity, since as a mass movement itself born-again Protestantism depended for its very well-being upon social forces such as mass communication, political and economic centralization, and cultural homogeneity that sustained the social and cultural ills evangelicals lamented. These Protestants could readily identify specific sins but lacked the capacity to account for the social patterns that nurtured such evils.  From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin, p. 10

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